The genus Berberis contains approximately 600-700 deciduous and evergreen shrubs, examples of which can be found throughout most of the temperate and subtropical regions of the world. They are generally easy to cultivate and will thrive in full sun and semi shade in almost any soil so long as it does not become waterlogged.
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Berberis are best taken as semi-ripe cuttings in August or September. Fill 3 inch pots containing good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'. Alternatively use a 50:50 mix by volume of horticultural grade and fine-grade moss peat. For larger amounts of cutting material large seed tray in a cold frame.
Using a sharp, sterilized blade, take 3-4 inch long heel cuttings. A heel cutting is one which is pulled away from the stem, but with a piece of the stem still attached. Avoid choosing damaged, unhealthy, overly-vigorous or atypical material. The best shoots to select are those which are more horizontal in habit with short internodal growth.
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Berberis will not need rooting hormone powder but if you do decide to use it, use a dibber prior to striking to prevent the powder from being rubbed off. Genty water in and then place outside under the protection of a coldframe or in a vented propagator within a polytunnel or unheated greenhouse.
Come the following April or May, the pot grown cuttings can be potted on 5-6 inch pots. The seed tray rooted cuttings can be carefully teased out of the compost and potted on into nursery rows outside for 1 or 2 years before transplanting into their final position.
For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW BERBERIS FROM CUTTINGS
HOW TO TAKE CUTTINGS OF ABELIA